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CARNEGIE HALL PRESENTS

Emanuel Ax, Piano

Wednesday, March 27, 2019 8 PM Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
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Emanuel Ax by Lisa-Marie Mazzucco
The Guardian has written that Emanuel Ax’s playing is “always marvelously articulate and totally unfussy. Nothing is done for effect or to draw attention to the player rather than to what he is playing.” He brings these qualities to a recital in which he explores Schumann’s mercurial flights of fancy, Chopin’s soulful expressiveness, Ravel’s harmonic audacity, and more.

Part of: Great Artists II

Performers

Emanuel Ax, Piano

Program

BRAHMS Rhapsody in B Minor, Op. 79, No. 1

BRAHMS Rhapsody in G Minor, Op. 79, No. 2

GEORGE BENJAMIN Piano Figures

SCHUMANN Fantasiestücke, Op. 12

RAVEL Valses nobles et sentimentales

CHOPIN Nocturne in B Major, Op. 62, No. 1

CHOPIN Three Mazurkas, Op. 50

CHOPIN Andante spianato and Grande polonaise brillante, Op. 22


Encores:

CHOPIN Nocturne in F-sharp Major, Op. 15, No. 2

CHOPIN Waltz in A-flat Major, Op. 34, No. 1

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two and one-half hours, including one 20-minute intermission.
Bank of America

This performance is sponsored by Bank of America, Carnegie Hall's Proud Season Sponsor.

The Trustees of Carnegie Hall gratefully acknowledge the generosity of The Jack Benny Family Foundation in support of the 2018-2019 season.

At a Glance

BRAHMS  Two Rhapsodies, Op. 79

Brahms lavished as much craftsmanship on his short piano pieces as he did on his sonatas and concertos. The Op. 79 rhapsodies epitomize the Romantic genre of the character piece, a popular vehicle for distilling a particular mood or musical idea to its essence.

 

GEORGE BENJAMIN  Piano Figures

A distinguished pianist, contemporary British composer George Benjamin doesn’t stint on technical challenges in the 10 deceptively simple tonal sketches that make up his Piano Figures. He later recycled the music in his orchestral ballet Dance Figures.

 

SCHUMANN  Fantasiestücke, Op. 12

Much of Schumann’s music embodies the freely imaginative spirit of the fantasy. The eight Fantasy Pieces of Op. 12 mix and match the contrasting temperaments of the composer’s literary alter egos: reflective Eusebius and stormy Florestan.

 

RAVEL  Valses nobles et sentimentales

Ravel tempered his ultramodern musical language with historically evocative styles and techniques. The eight Noble and Sentimental Waltzes—loosely modeled on Schubert’s piano dances—are notable for their supple rhythms and crystalline harmonies. 

 

CHOPIN  Nocturne in B Major, Op. 62, No. 1; Three Mazurkas, Op. 50; Andante spianato and Grande polonaise brillante, Op. 22

The selection of Chopin works on this evening’s program reflects the wide scope of his artistry as both composer and pianist. Dating from the early 1830s to the mid-1840s, the works range from a wistfully romantic nocturne to a trio of strutting mazurkas and a jaunty, bravura polonaise.

Bios

Emanuel Ax

Born in Lvov, Poland, Emanuel Ax moved to Winnipeg, Canada, with his family when he was a young boy. He made his New York debut in the Young Concert Artists Series and in 1974 won the first Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in Tel Aviv. Mr. Ax won the Michaels Award of the ...

Born in Lvov, Poland, Emanuel Ax moved to Winnipeg, Canada, with his family when he was a young boy. He made his New York debut in the Young Concert Artists Series and in 1974 won the first Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in Tel Aviv. Mr. Ax won the Michaels Award of the Young Concert Artists in 1975, followed four years later by the Avery Fisher Prize.

In partnership with Leonidas Kavakos and Yo-Yo Ma, Mr. Ax began the current season performing Brahms’s piano trios in Vienna, Paris, and London, a recording of which was recently released by Sony Classical. In the US, he returns to the orchestras of Cleveland, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Nashville, Portland, and Washington, DC. In Europe, Mr. Ax can be heard in Munich, Amsterdam, Berlin, Rome, Vienna, and London, and on tour in Italy with the Budapest Festival Orchestra.

Mr. Ax has been an exclusive Sony Classical recording artist since 1987. He received Grammy Awards for the second and third volumes of his cycle of Haydn piano sonatas, and made a series of Grammy-winning recordings of the Beethoven and Brahms sonatas for cello and piano with Mr. Ma. In the 2004–2005 season, Mr. Ax contributed to an International Emmy Award–winning BBC documentary commemorating the Holocaust, which aired on the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. His recording Variations received the ECHO Klassik award for Solo Recording of the Year in 2013. Mr. Ax is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and holds honorary doctorate degrees in music from Skidmore College, Yale University, and Columbia University.

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